A Muslim businesswoman who stalked and threatened to kill her son and held a kitchen knife to her own throat after finding out he was seeing a ‘white girl’ has been spared jail.
Naveed Raza, 52, from Livingston in West Lothian, Scotland, bombarded her 27-year-old son, Mohsin Raza, with texts and subjected him to ’emotional blackmail’, Falkirk Sheriff Court heard.
She also told the pharmacist that he’d brought shame on their family after discovering his relationship with Caralyn Downie, a dispensary assistant.
Mohsin began the relationship while still living with his mother, the director of a property company in Edinburgh, and his 55-year-old father Shahid Raza.
In one message she told her son: ‘Allah kasam, if you don’t get back tonight I’ll find you and I’ll kill you, I’m not joking. If this thing leaked I’ll kill myself, and I won’t let you live or rest!!!!’
Naveed Raza, 52, from Livingston, Scotland, told her son Mohsin Raza, 27, that he’d brought shame on his family after discovering his relationship with Caralyn Downie (pictured above, with Mohsin), a dispensary assistant
Prosecutor Katie Cunningham told the court yesterday: ‘The family hold Muslim faith and the accompanying cultural traditions. Mohsin began a relationship with Ms Downie in March 2019, and this was to be kept secret from his family.’
Ms Cunningham said that Mohsin realised they had become suspicious around July 2019 after his mother rang his football coach, asking what time he had attended training and when it had ended. He normally met Ms Downie after training.
Ms Cunningham said: ‘Mohsin discussed this with Ms Downie, and both were even more careful not to be caught.’
But on July 14, 2019, Mohsin returned home having been with Ms Downey. The prosecutor said: ‘He could see his mother at the window, waiting for him.
‘She confronted him and told him the relationship could not continue, and he was ‘bringing shame on the family’.’
Mohsin refused to end his relationship with Ms Downie, at which point his mother fetched ‘a large black-handled knife’ from the kitchen.
Ms Cunningham said: ‘She stood in front of Mohsin and held the knife close to her chest pointing towards her chin.
‘She told him he should use the knife on her as this was the only way he’d be allowed to continue the relationship. She went on to say she could not live with the shame of him being in a relationship with a white girl.
‘Mohsin was terrified and was praying that his mother would put down the knife. He stood up and placed his hands on her shoulders and pleaded with her not to do anything with the knife.’
She put the knife down and Mohsin, described as ‘visibly upset and frightened’, went outside and was driven off by Ms Downie, who was waiting for him.
He then received ‘a constant bombardment’ of texts and messages from his mother and ‘various efforts at making him feel guilty through emotional blackmail’.
She referred to Ms Downie as a ‘gori [white] b****’, asking: ‘Why disappear with her?’
Another text read: ‘At work, gori don’t care, they’ll talk and talk and that’s gori history. But in our religion it’s completely different, people won’t ever let this go, and your mother would never let your father live, either.’
It added: ‘We don’t eat pork or have big dogs on our sofa or beds.’
Raza also demanded he came home ‘without a f***ng ladyboy tattoo’ – understood to be another derogatory reference to Ms Downie.
Raza pleaded guilty to stalking and using threatening behaviour. Solicitor Paul Sweeney, defending, said she spent three nights in police custody and two in Cornton Vale Prison after her arrest in August 2019 (pictured: file photo of Falkirk Sheriff Court)
Mohsin left home, going to live with Ms Downie and her family in Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire.
Following a further incident in which his parents turned up when he was parked outside Asda in Cumbernauld – and he had no idea how they knew he was there – police were called. Raza was arrested and ‘made a number of admissions’.
Raza pleaded guilty to stalking and using threatening behaviour.
Solicitor Paul Sweeney, defending, said Mohsin was the youngest of Raza’s three children – the others are a 33-year-old lawyer and a 31-year-old accountant.
He said Raza had spent three nights in police custody and two in Cornton Vale Prison after her arrest in August 2019, and was ‘deeply embarrassed and ashamed at her behaviour’.
He said: ‘She is a proud Muslim woman from a proud Muslim family. Mohsin is still engaged to Ms Downie and hopes to marry her in 2022.
‘Mr and Mrs Raza wish to reconcile with Mohsin and have a positive relationship with Ms Downie going forwards. They are happy for Mohsin to have his own life.’
He added: ‘This is a family that now needs to go away and be allowed to heal. Mohsin is about to embark on married life, and very much wants his parents and family to be part of that.’
Following the case, Raza and her husband ran from the court to evade a photographer and without commenting to a reporter.